Carbon Foot Print
At the KTW Group it’s important to properly measure our environmental impact and look at the impact our company’s products have on planet earth. To measure our footprint we use a comprehensive life cycle analysis to determine where our greenhouse gas emissions come from. That means adding up the emissions generated from the manufacturing, transportation, use, and recycling of our products, as well as the emissions generated by our facilities.
Reducing our impact on the environment is to improve our products. That’s why with each product we design, we look at efficiencies that use less material, we look at how we can use all the material, reducing waste, ship with smaller packaging, use toxic free substances, and be energy efficient and recycle everything possible. With every new product we design we look at our process and how we can minimize our environmental impact.
The major portion of KTW Groups carbon footprint is directly related to our products — from manufacturing to customer use to recycling. The remaining portion is related to our facilities‐ this is why we are focused on reducing the impact our products have on the environment.
The engineers at the KTW Group continually look at the design and development of lighter, stronger and more ergonomic products. Our goal is to make our products become more user friendly and easier to use using less material to produce and generating fewer carbon emissions. For example, today we use one machine to punch, press and bend material, whereas in the past we would have used three or four machines. The end result is that we are using less energy, reducing our waste to produce better and improved products, while generating fewer carbon emissions.
Removal of Toxins
The environmental impact stems from the core design of our products ‐ how we make them and how we get them to our clients. This includes the metals glass, and plastics that we use in our products, the inks that are used to print our information and the packaging that is used to protect our products. We are driven by our goal to continue to lead our market segments in reduction or elimination of environmentally harmful substances.
Toxic substances such as arsenic, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), mercury, phthalates, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in products is the greatest environmental challenge facing a majority of industries today. It is important that we as a company take our responsibility to reduce the impact that these substances have seriously. We have worked with our suppliers to eliminate them from the everyday products that we use in or offices and our manufacturing facilities.
It is our responsibility to ensure that our working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible. The KTW Group employs teams of design and engineering experts who develop product packaging that’s as small, light, and protective as possible. This kind of efficient packaging design not only reduces materials and waste, it also helps reduce the emissions produced during product transportation.
Our logistical team looks at all types of efficient packaging designs, not only that reduce materials and waste, but that also help reduce the emissions produced during product transportation. The team evaluates when certain types of packaging materials are required. For example, when shipping mobile equipment that fills a truck, a pallet is not always required. The removal of a standard wooden pallet which is normally 1200 mm x 1000 mm x 150 mm with a static load bearing capacity of 3 tons and 1 ton dynamic, can weigh from 15 kilograms to 22 kilograms. The removal of this weight allows for lighter containers, and uses less fuel, which means greater efficiency of travel, both local and international.
Use of our Products
The majority of greenhouse gas emissions in our market segment can be attributed to the replacement of products, i.e. the number of times a product is replaced during the technological cycle. For example, if a sterilization or cleaning basket has sharp or rough edges, the wrapping material that is used to cover that basket may be replaced two or three times in a single usage cycle, before the basket is replaced.
Products and equipment should last beyond normal depreciation levels. The amount of energy that is required for demand, preventative and warranty maintenance should be kept at minimal levels. This is why we design our products to be as maintenance free as possible, which makes them as energy efficient as possible. Because our designs are based on a logistical approach we’re able to make sure they work together to conserve as much energy as possible. The ATW transport cart system is a good example. Through innovations, this cart can service several departments in a healthcare operation, either large or small. It requires less service, and reduces the overall number of spare parts required, which helps to improve the life cycle of the equipment.
When the total life cycle costs are considered, stainless is often the least expensive material option.
Cycle of Stainless Steel
To ensure a high quality of life, the materials that we use as a manufacturer should meet not only technical performance standards, but have a long Service Life, be usable in a great number of applications, and be environmentally friendly. Once their service is complete, they should be 100% recyclable, thereby completing the life cycle to be used once again. Stainless Steel is such a material.
The longevity of stainless is the result of the alloy composition and, therefore, it has a natural corrosion resistance. Nothing is applied to the surface that could add additional material to the environment. It does not need additional systems to protect the base metal, the metal itself will last.
Stainless steel needs less maintenance and its hygienic qualities means that we do not have to use harsh cleaners to get a clean surface. There is little or nothing to dump into the drain that could have an environmental impact. Stainless steel products complete their service life. There is less concern about disposal since this material is 100% recyclable. In fact, over 50% of new stainless steel comes from old remelted stainless steel scrap, thereby completing the full life cycle.